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Everything you need to know about Computed Tomography (CT) & CT Scanning


IV Contrast

question1. Why do we use IV contrast material?
question2. Do you use serum creatinine levels or GFR in your practice for establishing risk prior to CT scanning?
question3. What is GFR and why is it a more accurate measure than simply getting a creatinine level?
question4. Why are GFR numbers different for Caucasians and African Americans?
question5. Are all CT scans with IV contrast done the same way?
question6. What type of IV contrast material do we use and why?
question7. At what temperature do we store IV contrast material?
question8. Why do you warm IV contrast?
question9. What is the advantage of Visipaque as written in the literature?
question10. When do you use Visipaque-320 and when Omnipaque-350?
question11. Does the concentration of contrast mean that higher concentrations are better (AKA-isn’t a higher number better)?
question12. What is the volume of IV contrast material we use?
question13. What patients are considered high risk patients for IV contrast for CIN?
question14. Do we have set cutoffs for creatinine levels and if so what are they?
question15. Can we pretreat patients who have borderline renal function? If yes then how?
question16. Should patients be NPO for CT scanning? If yes for how long?
question17. What are the common volumes of contrast used for IV injection?
question18. What kind of IV access is ideal for use for IV contrast injection?
question19. Has there been any new developments in technology that may help us high injection rates in patients who can not tolerate an 18g needle (or at times even a 20g)?
question20. Can any IV the patient has in place be used to inject the contrast material?
question21. Can we use a central line or a PICC line for injection?
question22. What about the new “purple PICC/central lines” I hear about?
question23. What are some of the common normal “side effects” of IV contrast agents?
question

RadiologyInfo.org which is sponsored by RSNA and the ACR notes that “When an iodine-based contrast material is injected into your bloodstream, you may have a warm, flushed sensation and a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for a few minutes.”

They then divides reactions into mild, moderate and severe. The mild reactions might be considered normal in many ways although any hives would raise concern for the next time IV contrast is used. Here is the info from RadiologyInfo .org

Iodine-based Contrast Materials

Mild reactions include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • headache
  • itching
  • flushing
  • mild skin rash or hives

Moderate reactions include:

  • severe skin rash or hives
  • wheezing
  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • high or low blood pressure
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Severe reactions include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • cardiac arrest
  • swelling of the throat or other parts of the body
  • convulsions
  • profound low blood pressure
question24. Is there a relationship between patients receiving chemotherapy and CIN?
question25. Is it ok for patients to have both an MR and a CT with contrast on the same day?
question26. Have you ever seen a patient develop diffuse erythema distal to the IV injection site in the absence of extravasation?
question27. Patients often report a metallic taste in their mouth following use of IV iodinated contrast. Is there an explanation?
question28. Are there any contrast volume limitations for the use of IV contrast?
question29. Can you tell me a bit more about GFR and what it really means?

 

 

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